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Interior Design & Decorating Inspirations

San Diego Design Series: Exploring Downtown San Diego

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Gaslamp.Quarter.original.2104 (1)

The Gaslamp District: San Diego, CA

For our last blog post of the series we take you back to the heart of downtown San Diego. Downtown San Diego is the hustle and bustle of the city that attracts locals, professionals, and tourists alike. Like any city, Downtown San Diego is the hub of entertainment and activity with a plethora of business offices, a countless amount of restaurants, a vast number of elegant hotels, and attractions with many cultural influences. Places like the San Diego Zoo, the Padres Stadium, and Seaport Village attract people from all over to Downtown San Diego, but once they get there the opportunities are endless.

Pacifica_HI-res-1

J Hill Interiors, Warm Contemporary

Development of downtown started way back in 1867 by Alonzo Horton; however, today it is still full of the rich history and architecture that dates back to its early establishment. A mix of both modern and historic buildings line the streets of the Gaslamp District. This blend of old and new is a common design style within the downtown area as young professional move into the older buildings of this area, they are drawn in by the vintage style, while still incorporating modern touches. One of the most popular attractions of downtown San Diego, Gaslamp, has a profound number of award winning restaurants and live music venues such as The Shout House, The House of Blues, and country bar Moonshine Flats. The vibrant and sophisticated nightlife of downtown San Diego offers an adult playground with its many sizzling clubs and impressive rooftop bars. Residences and businesses alike draw on endless design styles ranging from traditional, contemporary, urban, vintage, and modern.  

Ironically placed on India street, Little Italy is a quaint corner of downtown that will make you feel as if you’ve walked right onto the cobblestone streets of Italy. From fine Italian dining to pizza by the slice, Little Italy is a common night on the town or date night hot spot for San Diego locals. In addition to its many authentic Italian restaurants, Little Italy is the home to a hand full of refined art and design galleries that showcase furniture designers and artists from here in San Diego as well as international. The rich culture has found its way into the design preferences for the restaurants as well as residences of this area that captures the ambiance of the community. Whether you are dining alfresco in an Italian café or admiring the fine arts, Little Italy is nothing short of a cultural wonder. Truly Bellissimo.

A little further outside the business district of San Diego’s Downtown, is the community of North Park. North Park has undergone a number of changes over the past few years and is well on its way to becoming a new “it” scene. It has a very hip and trendy dynamic with many boutiques-like stores and coffee shops that are full of personality.  Its nightlife attracts a different crowd than that of deep downtown San Diego in that it gives forth a relaxed and “kick-back” bar atmosphere. North pack encompasses a special blend of an urban community and a quaint town that gives it a feel unlike any community of San Diego.

old-town

Old Town: San Diego, CA

A bit more north, you will find the historic and iconic community of Old Town. One of the original establishments of San Diego, Old Town was once a humble pueblo inhabited by early settlers. Today it feels as if there is little difference between the early days of Old Town when compared to that of its current dynamic. Nearly every restaurant, shop, church and home still is so strongly influenced by the traditional Mexican design that it is impossible to confuse it with any other area of San Diego. Everything from the orange clay tile roofing to the décor that makes the streets look a 24/7 fiesta, it reflects the traditional styles of a Mexican town that has helped made Old Town so iconic.

The list of activities to do and sights to see along the streets of downtown are truly endless, as are the design styles of the area. From the urban and modern styled apartments inhabited by the young professionals in the heart of the Gaslamp district to the Mexican influences along the streets of Old Town. We hope you have enjoyed this trip around San Diego with us! As a design firm here, we feel so fortunate to be able to draw on the many different styles and influences that the San Diego communities have to offer. We look forward to what the future holds as we take on projects in the beautiful, sunny San Diego.

San Diego Design Series: Exploring Rancho Santa Fe

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Rancho Santa Fe French-Spanish Decorating 1Rancho Santa Fe is a more remote, yet high-end, real estate area of San Diego. It draws in those looking for large estates with generous proportions of land that allows the many common interest of Rancho Santa Fe residents, such as private vineyards and horse rings. Rancho Santa Fe is home of many spas, golf clubs, and restaurants that bring the community together while embodying the relaxed lifestyle of residents.

Rancho_Santa_Fe_French_Spanish_Decor_DetailA large number of the Rancho Santa Fe residences reflect a strong Spanish-style. The implementation of this design style can be greatly accredited to Lillian Rice. Impressively, Rice was the first woman to earn a degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1910, which she utilized as she moved back into her home in the San Diego area. In the midst of her career, she was asked to help develop a new community, which would later become the Rancho Santa Fe we know today. Rice was directly involved in many early Rancho Santa landmarks such as La Morada (the Inn), the Civic Center, and Paseo Delicias. Drawing from the ideals of Spanish Colonial Design, Rice set out to develop a community that embodies the charisma and charm of a Spanish village. According to historian, Lauren Farber, Lillian Rice also established “a standard Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful planning device which utilized landscaping, plazas, and parks to create a strongly-defined civic image.”

The InnClearly, Lillian Rice had intended to preserve the Spanish influence in Rancho Santa Fe. It is evident that she succeeded as the unique architecture and design remains in harmony with the design preferences of today. Now, Rancho Santa Fe is an inviting place, often populated with families and out-of-state visitors looking for a second home. Quite often the influence of the Spanish and Mexican  history can be found throughout the home, whether it be the use of talavera tile, Spanish quatrefoil shapes or hacienda plaster and rustic beams, etc.

J Hill Interiors is proud to have provided interior design services in this area. The uncommon and individual dynamics of the Rancho Santa Fe area has allowed us to expand our creativity to capture the essence of the community. Here are some picture of our past projects!

J Hill Interior Design - Via de Fortuna Casita

J Hill Interiors, Rancho Santa Fe Renovation

J Hill Interiors, Rancho Santa Fe Renovation

J Hill Interior Design - Via de Fortuna Casita

J Hill Interiors, Rancho Santa Fe Renovation

San Diego Design Series: Venturing Through North County

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As the name suggest, North County is a collection of towns and communities at the north most part of San Diego. North County, in many ways, has been the hidden gem of San Diego real estate within the last 10 years. As the development of this area has increased, the already rare coastline real estate supply has become even more limited and further increased the demand. Overall, North County has a very relaxed and laid-back atmosphere that acts as both a surfer’s paradise and a place for young professionals to settle down with their families. The youthful vibe from the emerging community gives North County a refreshing and unique essence.

Del Mar Race Track

Del Mar Racetrack

North County has much to offer with a variety of venues and activities across its many communities. Along with its many restaurants and shops, Del Mar has a strong presence in equestrian sporting. It comes with little surprise that Del Mar is therefore most know for the Del Mar Race Track that has attracted competitors and spectators to take part in the excitement of horse racing since it was built by the Thoroughbred Club in 1937.  Similarly, Del Mar attracts people from all across southern California to the annual Del Mar Fair that has become a tradition of family fun for many to enjoy.  

North County Dinning Room Decor

J Hill Interiors: North County Renovation

Cardiff, Encinitas, and Leucadia all add to the equation of the North County’s appeal with their restaurants, shops, and bars that attract the many young professionals that reside within the community. The city of Carlsbad has more of a suburban dynamic, which is a little less expensive and appeals more to families. Keeping up the North County lifestyle, Carlsbad has a quaint downtown with lots of character full of boutiques, eateries, and bars.

Transitional Dining Room

J Hill Interiors: American Transitional, Encinitas


An overlying theme of North County is its impeccable appeal for surfers and beach goers. This is especially true for the quaint beach town of Solana Beach. Along with its gorgeous beaches, Solana Beach is home of the Credos Design Center for both the public and designers. The Cedros Design Center is a town treasure that creates an exciting experience for shopping by offering styles across the board. From ultra-modern to antique, the Design Center offers something to satisfy everyone’s personal style and preference.

California Mission, Spanish Architecture

San Luis Rey California Mission

With all of these different aspects impacting the community, it is of little surprise that their residential design preferences follow suit. North County is among the communities of San Diego that act as the premier place for custom built homes.  Personal style has a huge impact on the homes of North County that gives the area  a nice variety. On one street you might see a blend of a dozen different styles, such as Craftsman, Tuscan, Spanish, and Super Modern. Many of these preferences may be a reflection of the landmarks and architecture used throughout North County. For example, the California Mission, San Luis Rey captures the historic Spanish and Mexican style of early settlers of North County, which is still very much alive today. The Oceanside Pier has also become a well known hot spot. So much so that, the beach life has found its way into many homes in both design and decor. The young community of North County brings about many modern design preferences as well as a blend of many other styles that come from influences all over the county.

Encinitas Contemporary Livingroom Decor

J Hill Interiors: Encinitas Contemporary Renovation

Overall, North County has a countless number of things to do for beach-side locals and adventuring tourists. The urban, yet beach dynamic creates an experience on can only find in the communities of North County. Take a stroll down the residential communities along the coast for some serious home design inspiration. Also, take a look at some J Hill project in North County that we have completed. You can also see these projects here: 

Child’s Room | North County 

Causal Contemporary | North County 

Bold Contemporary | Encinitas

American Transitional | Encinitas

 

 

The 5 Stages of Design | Stage 2 | Design Development

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Once we have learned our client’s lifestyle, needs, and design tastes, we can move on to the next stage of into a physical form.design: The Design Development. In this stage, the Interior Designer begins to visualize their client’s needs.

The Interior Designer will begin to brainstorm and develop various ideas that can be implemented into their client’s space. Sketches, floor plans and elevations help in visualizing these ideas and develop an understanding of how the different rooms in a given space will relate to one another. We show these documents alongside movable furniture and décor tear sheets to convey a design.

Throughout the brainstorming process many ideas will formulate, some will be discarded and others will get further developed. Often, we come up with an ideal design for the space, and then shave down the design based on budget (as needed). This helps to show the client the space’s potential, and gives them the full spectrum that they can work down from.

During this stage the Interior Designer simultaneously selects and proposes materials and furnishings for the space. This includes products such as any renovation materials, textiles, wall paints, lighting, art, furnishings and home accessories like rugs and lamps. T

The brainstorming process of ideas and materials for the space help the client understand what the finished design of their space will look like. When the best ideas are brought together and approved by the client, then the Interior Designer can move on to the next stage of design. he Designer will select his or her materials and furnishings from various catalogs, showrooms, and online sites.

Funky Friday

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Happy Funky Friday Everyone! Below is a fun colorful dining nook that we found from http://whimsicalhomeandgarden.com and we here at J Hill Interior Designs adore it!  As you can see below sometimes just adding a bit of color can create that spunky, funky, fun touch your looking for without breaking the bank.

Funky Friday Space of the Week: Colorful Breakfast Nook

Funky Friday Space of the Week: Colorful Breakfast Nook

 

 

 

 Set of 2 Urban Outfitters Cafe Chair

Set of 2 Urban Outfitters Cafe Chair $149.00

 

 

 

Emily Round Dining Table : Living Spaces $395.00

 

 

 

Prestige Fuchsia Pillow: Embroidered

Embroidered Fuchsia Pillow: Moroccan Prestige $135.00

 

 

 

C Wonder Home Decor Throw Pillows : C Wonder $20.00 – $49.99

 

 

Happy Funky Friday!

By | Interior Design & Decorating Inspirations, Interior Design and Decorating, San Diego Design & Decorating, San Diego Design Inspirations | No Comments

Colorful, Funky Dining Space

Happy Funky Friday! Check out this colorful funky dining space. We here a J Hill Interior Designs are loving the small yet bold pops of color that are being used in this space. With the addition of the chevron patterned rug infused with the bold colors beings used creates a bold, fresh new look that everyone can love!

For more info about  J Hill Interior Designs check out :https://www.facebook.com/jhillinteriordesigns

Choosing Paint Colors & Decorating with Color

By | A Designer's Eye, Great Decorating Ideas, Interior Design & Decorating Inspirations, Interior Design and Decorating, San Diego Design & Decorating | One Comment

Picking paint colors, and creating a color scheme for your home can be one of the most difficult tasks in decorating. However, it does not have to be! As long as you have a few rules of thumb and education in color, you will be fine! My biggest advice: Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Are you unsure if those burnt orange accent chairs will go with your sage wall? Well, try it! You won’t know unless you try. Also, it always tends to be those things you aren’t sure about, that end up being the best element in the room.

So, here is a brief summary on color theory: Color harmony in a space is the ultimate goal, which is the pleasing arrangement of colors, creating a balance in the visual experience. This can be achieved through several types of color schemes. Analogous colors are any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel. Contrasting is adding a pop of color from the opposite side of the wheel. We typically call these our “accent colors”. Monochromatic is simply just tints, tones, and shades of a single hue (everything of the same color). Now that you’re an expert in color theory it’s time to get started!

1. First off, keep in mind that when using a fan deck, the middle color is the true color and then moving outwards (up or down) is either adding black and/or white, or just increasing/decreasing the pigment in the original color.

This picture is a good example of complimentary colors working together. The blue and red are opposite on the color wheel, yet they work together very nicely. Other examples of this would be burnt orange and turquoise, plum and yellow, sage green and red, blue and yellow, etc. Complimentary colors always work together if done correctly.

2. Be sure to consider variety in your space. If you have brown floors, furniture, and trim, mix it up by choosing a paint, or other pieces of furniture with gray or black undertones to avoid too much of the same thing. Black, white, grey, and brown are all considered neutrals so feel free to mix them in accordingly in your space. You do NOT have to stick to just one of them. Boring…..

2. A small paint color sample can look extremely different covering a complete wall. To remedy this, paint the samples you are considering in a sizable patch on your wall (2’x2′ squares do the trick). Be sure to do this on a shadowed wall as well as a wall that gets natural light, as the color will look different depending on light quality. Look at it for 1-2 days, noticing the changes in color through the hour changes.

3. Remember to consider your lighting. Different types of bulbs flatter different paint colors and shades. What may look great under an incandescent light source might not look the same under a fluorescent one. To get an accurate view of the actual color, take it outside into natural light.

4. Consider VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when choosing a brand. VOCs are solvents that get released into the air as the paint dries and even long after it dries. These compounds can cause headaches and have also been linked to other heath issues. Luckily, a wide range of low VOC or VOC free options are now available from many brands. We typically use Dunn Edwards; they carry a great no-VOC product. Considering these options is especially important for spaces with small children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with allergy issues or anyone that wants to improve their overall indoor air quality.

Still stumped over choosing a paint color, or decorating with color? Give us a call for a consultation! 619-718-0647

White: Not As Boring As You Think

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Painting or leaving your walls white could be one of the most underestimated ideas in Interior Design. When choosing a paint color, many times we don’t really consider sticking to white for creating a particular look.  White is especially beneficial in creating nautical, beach, modern, shabby chic, or minimalist, clean styled homes.

Not only are white walls clean and classic, but also an easy option for those who are renting and cannot paint their space or just don’t feel like painting. Here are some tips to making white rooms look “designed” by adding the right everything else.

  1. Reflect:  Add glass and mirrored elements to make the space clean and contemporary
  2. Go for the gold: Gold accessories and furnishings make a white space look expensive and elegant if you are going for that look
  3. Lighting: As you know, lighting is everything; let it do the talking. Point the eye to interesting pendants, chandeliers, or even just clean recessed lighting.
  4. Plants are your best friends: Use plants to liven up the space. The vibrant colors really pop against white, and immediately create a warm, cozy feeling. Nothing is more beautiful than nature itself!
  5. Opposites attract: Use black and white to create an monochrome space for an artistic vibe. Add 1-2 accent colors for more interest
  6. Go all the way: There are no limits to where you can use white (cleanability lifestyle to take into consideration). White window treatments, draperies, bedding, couches, etc. can all be used against a white wall. An all white space can look bright, clean and breezy if done right.

Still struggling with how to use white? Give us a call to see if we can help! 619-718-0647

Black: An Ode to the Color That Never Goes Out of Style

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Whether it’s an outfit, or a room, black is notorious for creating an instant sense of elegance, contrast or sharpness. While this is easy to incorporate into your wardrobe, it can be a little trickier to incorporate in your home. Here are some tips for making the trend work in any space:

  1. Start very small: Start using black accessories, or main components of a room to ensure you like the bold look in your home. Try it for 3-5 days and make sure you don’t get tired of it.
  2. Getting comfortable: Painting a smaller space (like a powder room) can give you a good idea if you will like the look in a larger (and more public) area. **Important: Always take lighting into consideration. I don’t suggest painting dark colors in dark-lit rooms. Make sure you have proper lighting
  3. Avoid the Morgue look: Bring in plants in to liven up the space, lighter colors as accents, and lighter trims
  4. Go glam: A high gloss paint is sophisticated and reflects light beautifully. This is typically most popular on doors, hallways, or very glam-contemporary rooms/ceilings
  5. Stay true to your style: Whether you’re contemporary or traditional, incorporate black in a way that’s authentic to you. Black works anywhere with any style if done correctly
  6. Putting lipstick on your room: Black baseboards and black crown molding (versus the everyday white molding), really can transform a space. I LOVE this idea for certain looks. Don’t just assume you have to use white on your trim and moldings
  7. Make magic in the kitchen: Glossy black cabinetry is sleek and unexpected if you are going for a glam or contemporary look

 

The “How-To”: Creating a Picture Wall Collage

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We have been hanging pictures for decades, but it seems an old trend is dissipating and a new one is emerging! The trend is this: there is no end to ways you can hang wall collages, but there is definitely a formula to this task.

The key to having a successful wall collage is to make sure you take the time to lay out your collage before hanging the pictures. Lay all your frames on the floor to configure which frame goes where. The best way to achieve an organized  look is to have the same distance between each frame all around. You can also develop a formula to where just the widths between photos are the same, or just the heights between photos are the same. The key is to create a calm chaos. You want to arrange the photos in a manner that is different and achieves interest, but also has uniformity to the layout, or else it may look unfinished or too chaotic.

To hang the photos, always take a picture of how you laid it out, because you will forgot. Start with the frame in the middle. Hang it on the desired location of the wall. Next, choose a second frame that is adjacent to the middle frame. Start working your way out and around until they are all hung! A level, pencil and wall laser are your best friends. The wall laser especially is incredibly helpful to hang pictures in a straight line, horizontally or vertically.

Lastly, there are endless things to items you can put in the frames. You don’t have to put anything in the frame, achieving the shabby sheek, minimalist look. You can put scrapbook paper, stretched fabric, sentimental items such as movie tickets, love letters, or post cards or even paint the wall behind the frame.  Here are some great examples of how to hand a collage of photos!

Check out a few different wall collages below:

You can have a playful look to your collage or a more refined look. To get a more refined look, change the prints to all black and white photos with a thick matte frame,  and organize frames into a very clean layout such as the idea below…

Some like their collages more playful! It’s always fun to grab multiple different styles of frames for a more eclectic feel.